Thursday, May 30, 2013


The scent of fresh lilac is magical in my world. I find that every spring when I smell it again it actually feels like the first time, never have I ever found anything comes remotely close to accurately capturing that aroma. I am packing today for a little getaway with the Mr. (our first EVER since Wren was born) and I am mourning the fact that when we return my beloved lilacs will be done. I know it is just the beginning of a beautiful summer, but I think the late days of spring may actually be my very favorite time of year with their long days and fresh buds filling the air.

 photo _MG_5488_zpsd48d3f9e.jpg

It is also the time of year we start seeing unexpected afternoon thunderstorms and showers roll in. Cooling the day down and somehow sharpening the fragrant air. A good excuse to cuddle as we listen to the thunder and plan what adventures our next day will hold. 
 photo _MG_5510blog_zpsa0c058f1.jpg 

Yup, when I return those days will be long gone, replaced by the lazy, hot days of summer. Which are a close second in my hierarchy of seasons. 

I am excited, thrilled and nervous about our getaway. I know it will be relaxing and filled with fun but it is kind of hard to picture more than a day or two without my buddy. Maybe more experienced moms can reassure me that it flies by and we will have the time of our life ( which I know she will be doing while she stays with her Nanny and Papa). I want to send a super-de-duper appreciative thank you to a beautiful blog-friend who is making it a little easier to part. Reem designs and makes beautiful evil eye bracelets for both moms and their mini-me's and Wren and I will both be wearing ours as our way of reminding each other that we are always safe and loved, even if we aren't together. I have a longtime good friend who is from Egypt who also gave me an evil eye necklace a long time ago as well so it holds an extra special spot in my heart. 

THANKS AGAIN REEM!! definitely check out her etsy shop ReemAndI.

 photo _MG_5053_zpsb26d2333.jpg

I probably won't be doing much DIY next week, but I promise to pop in a few times.
Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

the shuffle continues

A leopard never changes his spots and neither does a Holly I guess...

I am SO happy I am not alone in my misguided Target splurge last weekend. You all made me very happy to hear that we have all been there from time to time, trying to fit a decorating square into a circle. As long as we recognize that while we love it all, we don`t necessarily bring it all home. I love Kaylan`s comment about keeping a few photos on our iphones to stay on track and I will definitely be doing that (thanks, girl!).

Now that I have a little time on my hands again I have been going full tilt on my house spruce up. It has been just over a year since WhiteBerry wound down and I am still in the midst of creating our 'true home' (anyone who works from home or has had any sort of career in furniture flipping knows what I'm talking about here!). It is the journey, not the destination, I hear. But I am excited to finally arrive.

Part of my living room update has been to find a lower, more substantial coffee table for the room. I have looked high and low, and at every price point. Nothing has jumped out at me but I did find a pair of great vintage coffee tables at a resale store for $40 last week. 
 photo _MG_5439_zpsf737b645.jpg 

2 cans of high gloss spray paint were all I needed to fall in love. Here is a little glimps!
 photo _MG_5466_zpsac76a9f9.jpg 

A couple of you were kind enough to ask what went back to Target. The pillow on the chair in the photo above and the wood frame are keepers so far, but these guys just didn't feel right for me.
But I still love them...
 photo _MG_5441_zps3b2b07e2.jpg 

I also painted this guy over the weekend for our bedroom. He has sat in our garage for over a year and Sean gave me an ultimatum to make it happen or say goodbye during his garage purge this weekend. See what I mean? Shuffle is an understatement for what the last week has held in our house. Plus I completed the powder room makeover (more on that later this week)!
 photo _MG_5442_zps28905970.jpg 

With the dresser heading up to our room, our slipcovered thrift store sofa came down to the kitchen nook. 

Sean has not been a huge fan of this sofa (not the concept of a sofa in our bedroom but the french legs in particular we his issue), but as soon as we set it down in here we both looked at each other and smiled. It was like it was made for this spot!

Dare I say I am looking forward to a couple lazy afternoon naps in here?
 photo _MG_5484_zps657cf3c9.jpg

So that sums up my last few days. Hope yours have been productive and filled with pretty as well!!

The yard at ParkView aka how to kill your back

The last time I showed you ParkView it was nearly done! I still have 2 things to cross off my list (new garage door and hanging the powder room mirror) but we pulled all our strength together a couple weekends ago to make the yard a much prettier place.

 photo _MG_5369_zpsecac233c.jpg 

We didn't intend to lay all new sod, but once the new cement walkway was done it was looking a little rough from all the bobcat tracks and tire marks. So Sean, me, my dad and a couple kind fellows joined forces to get it done in a day.
 photo _MG_5371_zpsc7f202e2.jpg 

The next day I made a little row of boxwoods and filled it with cedar chips to finish off the front yard.
 photo _MG_5367_zpse0de23a3.jpg 

Of course, it was a long weekend and when we ran out of sod for the last few feet all the landscaping places were closed. So we still have a little work left back here.
 photo _MG_5378_zps5ecc335f.jpg 
But it is night and day from how it was...
 photo _MG_0415_zps1c40499a.jpg 

To how it is! photo _MG_5379_zps68981bd0.jpg 

One of the best experiences I have during this renovation was in the craziness of the week before Wren and I went on holidays. I was working 16 hour days to get it finished enough to list it for sale, and we easily had 8-12 people on site everyday getting it done. One afternoon I returned to the house after a quick errand and noticed two little pairs of shoes at the front door which I found funny because all the guys were leaving their shoes on unless they went upstairs on the carpet.

When I turned the corner I nearly bumped into two older ladies taking a picture of the kitchen! I assumed they may be neighbors, but they quickly introduced themselves as the daughters of the original home owner. They were raised in this house and their parents lived in Parkview for over 40 years until they sold it in 2000. Their father built the extension where the kitchen and family room are now located with his own 2 hands. Their brother carved his initials and their names in the basement supports. After their mother sold the house it went into disrepair and they have sadly driven past it for the last 13 years watching it fall to pieces, peeking in the windows from time to time. They brought a big box of donuts for all the guys on site that day and were so very happy to see it finally turned into a home again. And I cannot tell you how happy that made me. It was once a home filled with children, stories and memories and I am hoping it will be that again to someone. 

 photo _MG_5370_zps4e36c2ea.jpg

I am working on the source list for everything I can think of for my last Parkview post, but if you have anything specific you want info on please leave me a comment on this post so I know to address it in my wrap up!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Still learning.

My mom and I made our first trip to a Canadian Target this weekend. It was virtually identical to the US stores, with one exception: I didn't have to leave behind anything I wanted!

For things like baskets, frames and pillows it is hard to beat the quality and look at such a great price. I've been sprucing up the living room verrrrrry slowly as part of my 'homecoming' (more on that here). But once in a while you see something you love. Something that inspires you. I've felt that way about the Threshold line at Target for a little while. It is basically Anthropologie-style items at real people prices.

Cute, right?

Of course! It's bright, it's happy, it's fun! I filled my cart. And my sweet mom helped me go back and forth on pillows, throws, accessories for the better part of an hour. I was so excited to get it home and see how much it all popped on my white furniture. 

FAIL. I got it home and while I liked it, I just knew. It wasn't for me. I may like it now, for a little while even, but I know it won't stick. So I am taking it all back. SORRY MOM!

I looked back through pictures I've felt most inspired by and I noticed one thing: not one has a lot of color. 
It doesn't mean I shouldn't add a little color if I feel like it, but I know that $200 in colorful accessories would not be a wise investment in the direction I am trying to go. It was a good reminder for me to look back at these images because I find myself easily led down a different decorating path when I'm not paying attention!

I want the living room to feel sophisticated, cool and yet still very eclectic with a few unexpected touches. 

unknown (if you know please let me know!)

elle decor

Please tell me I'm not the only person who finds it hard to stay on track when decorating!!!

Friday, May 24, 2013


The days are finally warm and soft. I don't feel like I need to fill my days so much right now. They seem to float by gently and happily as we lounge in the grass, at the park or pulling the wagon to the grocery store. 
 photo _MG_53911_zps9127c09a.jpg

Surprisingly I also seem to hit the pillow every night and reflect that I accomplished more than I thought I would. I have been making an attempt to transform our yard this year. Nothing dramatic, just some new flower beds and rock walls. But it feels good to be working at it, even if it isn't my strong suit.

One thing I will not be working at this weekend is having fun. It seems to happen naturally once the Summer arrives.
 photo _MG_5398_zps3f4ca41a.jpg

Have a safe a happy weekend!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Powder Room Plans

 Yes, I just got done with 8 months worth of renos at ParkView, but my brain never stops and I think it is time to add a little more pizzazz to our powder room. This was actually our first reno. EVER. We ripped it apart 3 days before Wren made her unexpected debut. We threw it back together on a shoe string budget and with a steep learning curve (back when we were DIY newbies!).

This is it today. Clean, fresh, but nothing exciting. I've had the urge to sprinkle it with some character lately.

Speaking of character, it had a ton in it's hey day. Just not my kind of character, I guess. I will never forget pulling down what felt like MILES AND MILES of wall paper in this house when we bought it. I may have sworn that I'd never put some poor future generation through that, but I am going to break my own vow and re-paper it. SORRY future owners. Or you're welcome, I guess, if you like it!

Here is my game plan: use the same pedestal, toilet and fixtures. Just add a new mirror, switch out the light, and wall paper it up! It will take a little sweat equity but the total investment is actually really minimal. The biggest splurge was the paper ($125), but I think it is the perfect mix of happy, fun, and modern. Which will perfectly offset the new rustic light and mirror.

 photo powderupdate_zpsa5cc8c84.jpg

1 / 2 / 3  here and here / 4

And if you were looking for sources on anything at Parkview, have no fear I am working on a separate post with everything. 

Ciao my bellas!

Candle of the Month

 photo _MG_5335_zpsc8281493.jpg 

I am so happy to finally do another Candle of the Month post! With so much on my plate the last post wasn't since November, which is shocking because these are really my favorite posts.

Spring is starting to bloom up here in Edmonton. The first shrub in our yard to flower every year is this pretty pink number. You may have seen these branches make a cameo from time to time in springs past. I just can't help myself from chopping the whole bush down to fill every room every year. My friend Megan was kind enough to notify me it is double flowering plum, so now I can hopefully find a few more and give this poor guy a rest. 

The only catch is that while it is a beautiful, lush flower it really doesn't have any scent. So until my lilac trees start producing I will keep burning candles!

 photo _MG_5338_zps7565e6e9.jpg 

This month's candle is a really refreshing scent. It is the Green Tea Sage soy candle from Target. It is a big, 3 wick candle and so far seems to be a really clean burn (no soot, or discoloration of wax as it burns). 

 photo _MG_5342_zps189a3d05.jpg 

I think I got it on sale for around $10, but it was regularly only $12 so either way really really well priced.
The scent is very light and while it does cover a pretty good area when lit, it was definitely not the potency or range that I seem to get from a Voluspa, Aquiesse or other high end candles. But that was fine for me because in the Spring you don't really want an over powering scent, I'd rather open up some windows with the arrival of warm weather.
 photo _MG_5324_zps3abf2a9f.jpg 

It seems to be the perfect kitchen candle. I never cook a hearty meal and not light a candle after to help clear the air.
 photo _MG_5349_zps4796424b.jpg

Interested in what my previous picks have been? Check them all out here.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Silver Lining

 photo _MG_4257_zps542520b9.jpg

Thank you is not even enough. While I haven't had time to respond to every comment, I wanted to tell you that all your thoughts and words of love these past few days have been very cherished and very appreciated. They reminded me that I am not alone. That we have all loved and lost. And that the memories do last a lifetime. 

We are starting to realize our life without our boy is different, but it still goes on. And since we have a lot of dogs in our family we will still be surrounded by fur and fluffy cuddles. 

Thank you, again, for reminding me why this blogging gig is beyond amazing.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A not so fun day.

 photo Picture003-1.jpg

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day. It was our first day home from vacation and we spent most of it outside in the yard. Wren make a little picnic spot for our lunch and Mungkee and I joined her with some peanut butter and jam pitas. She shared her 'crusts' with him. He played in the yard with us. We knew he has been sick, but he was eating good and I even gave him a little bath, after which he pounced around like a little puppy (like he always did after a good bath). 

We had an appointment at the Vet to do a re-check to see if his medication has been helping, if his weight was improving late in the afternoon. Everything inside me was telling me that he wasn't alright, but he seemed to be 'stablizing' and I wanted to believe it. But something told me that Sean needed to be there, and we made plans for Wren to be with her grandma for the afternoon. 

The vet agreed that he wasn't worse, but he wasn't better. She ran some blood tests and did an x-ray. While we waited for the results they brought him back to us and right then I knew.

He laid down on the floor and cried. It was like he held it all together up until that moment and he felt like it was time to give in. A couple minutes later the vet showed me his x-ray and there was a mass that wasn't there in his last 3 x-rays (all taken within the last 2 months). They did a quick ultrasound and confirmed that his liver was engulfed in cancer, too far gone to do anything. It was a surprise to me that it was so bad so quick when we have been doing regular x-rays and scans on him to try and detect anything that would explain his recent changes (loss of weight and very sleepy). But it was a relief at the same time to finally know what it was. And to know that I couldn't have seen it sooner or done anything differently. Mungkee was such a good, easy dog that I felt guilty up until that point that I should have seen the signs sooner, that I could have done something to help him. To know that we checked everything before, all the doctors couldn't find it until yesterday and that they could do nothing for him gave me a little finality and allowed me to let go. 

He was ready to let go before we were and it seems he was kind enough to let us have that final piece of closure. 

We cuddled him in his last moments and he was a gentleman up to the end. I was proud to hold such a brave little guy in my arms as he passed.

 photo IMG_1685.jpg 

We will miss our little Mungkee. Sean and I were talking last night and we will always remember him as the dog that brought a smile to everyone's face. Always giving love, enjoying the attention.
 photo 054.jpg 

When we adopted him 7 years ago he was already 3. My parents thought we were crazy for taking on an already 3 year old male dog (that hadn't been neutered!) but within minutes he won over everyone's heart. His previous owner had passed when we took him, and until yesterday I didn't think much about the fact that someone else loved him just as much as us and I am glad that he is with her again.
 photo 006-5.jpg 
He was Sean's best man and our little baby boy.
 photo 066.jpg 

 photo 020-1.jpg 

And when Wren came along he took to her immediately, but more importantly she adored him too.
 photo IMG_0914.jpg 

 photo IMG_0163.jpg

Just his hair could make me giggle if the wind blew it in a funny way.
 photo _MG_4129.jpg  photo PBreno148.jpg  photo _MG_6084.jpg  photo PB_MG_7441.jpg
Thank you for so many loving memories and years,
Good bye "mungkee man".

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Time Off

Thank you all so much for your sweet and wonderful comments on my Parkview post!! It was so much hard work and while I didn't stage it this time like I did at Lexington, I am glad you could all appreciate the transformation. THANK YOU. 

This little old part of the internet has been kind of dry lately as I've barely had time to share anything beyond the rare Parkview update this past month. Sorry about that! But with a little rest and relaxation I always find myself eager to get back to sharing the randomness that is my life here, on my blog. 

So until the next house sinks it's claws into me, we are back to our regularly scheduled blogging.

It has been a total 180 from last week in the life of Wren and I. Last Thursday I was scrubbing floors and windows until one in the morning, this week we are relaxing and hanging by the pool. It is just Wren and I on this trip while Sean holds down the house and cares for our little Mungkee boy. We wish he could be here too, but I also love that it is a special little getaway for us. 

We started our vacation the second we got to the departures terminal. 
Wren was so excited she did several dance shows for fellow travellers
(sorry, took it on my phone)

I love this time of year in Palm Springs. It's hot and dry.

We spent most of the last two days in my parent's pool. Wren has a little fish DNA mixed in there, she would eat her dinner in the pool if I let her. 

My dad takes Wren turtle hunting every night (knowing there are not any turtles near their house, using it more as an excuse to explore), but we actually found a good place to see some and she was thrilled to finally 'hunt' some down.

After a looooonnnnggg winter, she is back in park mode!

Today we are packing a small bag and heading over to Disneyland and California adventure for a few days. Lots of fun and excitement is in our forecast!

Have a great weekend~

Blogging tips